Film Holder Numbering

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Curt, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    In my first days at Brooks Institute I was given a small piece of paper that told how to notch film holders in roman numerals so the film could be tracked to the info by way of the number. For example a "V" is of course five, and you just had to write five in the notebook and the information after it.

    Has anyone here used that process of marking holders? I have my original 4x5 holders that are marked but I haven't done it for my 5x or 8x. I was developing some 8x10 negatives this weekend and keeping track of the films, different lenses, same subject, has been a challenge.

    Curt
     
  2. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Did you mean they were marked in such a way as to leave the negative holders number along the film's edge after it was developed?

    I've only got six holders and didn't think to go the roman numeral route, but used a really small triangular file to make notches in the plastic flap that rests against the film, at the bottom of the holder.

    To get roman numerals I guess you'd use a small triangular file for the V's and a really thin file for the l's.

    Murray
     
  3. tjaded

    tjaded Subscriber

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    Twin/Quad checks work very well for me. Then I got SUPER lucky and ended up with a large quantity of film holders that number the film itself.
     
  4. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Yes

    That's exactly right, use a small file and a knife or blade etc. to make the marks so they print black in the rebate. Very handy for info and to keep track of the holder for any maintenance.
     
  5. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I should add that the one is narrower than a ten, which is a little larger, 40 is a 10, larger square bottom notch and and "L" which is represented as a round bottom notch, use a round file if you get that many. So 40 is XL, which is a larger square bottom notch and a half circle or "U" shaped notch.

    The sheet I have is titled "How to number film". There is a reference to "Fidelity" on the bottom and it has a "Deluxe" holder ad about how to use a pencil on the white data area tab, "Originally pioneered by Fidelity".
     
  6. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    It's a slam-dunk perfect method, unless you lose your notes :D

    Added later: I remember somebody posting a link to a site where the method you're talking is described...maybe they'll chime in.

    I only have six holders, so it's not such a big problem.

    Murray
     
  7. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    I used a round (5/32") file for the 10's, a small triangular file for the 5's, and a line (cut with a hack saw blade) for the 1's. Works like a charm. So UVII would be 17.
     
  8. jonw

    jonw Member

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  9. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I have some whole plate bookform holders that have a rectangle for ten, a V for 5 and a line for 1's. It works great and I have thought about doing it on all my other holders in other formats.
     
  10. Vaughn

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    On a couple used holders I got, someone drilled very small holes in the rails that the long sides of the film slip under inside the holders.

    Vaughn
     
  11. Keith Pitman

    Keith Pitman Subscriber

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    In the large format thread mentioned above, I recommended Ralph Lambrecht's "binary" holder marking method. Still do. A bit of time and work to get all your holders marked, but you can backtrack any negative.
     
  12. Phil

    Phil Member

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  13. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    A binary system works well for this aging computer repairman, with a narrow notch representing a zero and a wider notch representing a one. Seven notches will number up to 127 holders. It takes only seconds with a sharp knife or chisel to number wooden holders, and a few seconds more with a file to number plastic holders. Other systems mentioned in earlier posts should work as well for those not comfortable with binary math.
     
  14. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I use the method mentioned in Ralph Lambrecht's book as well. You don't have to notch through the entire hinge edge to make it work. You can number at least 30 holders with the system as well.
     
  15. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    The one problem I have with these systems is that I print and show the rebate of the film with my alt processes. I don't want my numbering method to show up as part of my image.

    And so far, in 30 years of LF work, I have not really had any great need to identify which holders a negative came out of post-developing...pre-developing, yes, but these methods do nothing to help then.

    Vaughn
     
  16. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    I process up to 20 sheets of 5x7 at once, in 10 double stainless steel hangers, so one hangar per holder. When I load the hangars, I stack the film holders in sequential order, and the hangars in the same order, and after fixing, the lights go on, and I can easily determine from which holder the film is from. In processing to agitate, I lift the hangar group as a unit from the developing solutions. The hangars never get out of order. This can be carried thru washing and drying, with hanging the individual sheets up in order in the drying cabinet.
     
  17. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    This is a well done article. I sued this method on my film holders with some modifications and it works great.

    The files are a real pain and take forever. If you are obsessive, patient, and have a weekend to burn then have at it. I had 25 film holders to do so that means 50 iterations of etching the film holders. I bouth 3 different shapes of cutting tools for my Dremel tool and buzzed off the gouges in the film holder. The notches are 3 different sizes of half rounds that are clearly discernable from one another. I put the 5's and 1's on one side and the 10's on the other side.

    I have some film holders with the built in numbering system but it does not work well. The numbers get nudged out of position at times. Depending on the lighting of the scene, the numbers might not be visible. The above method is relatively foolproof. You need to be careful not to make a mess and get shavings all over the film holders though. I have an air compressor which helped blow out any small fragments when I cleaned up.
     
  18. rshepard

    rshepard Member

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    Curt,

    Not this method, but a similar one. I made a template from aluminum that lets me notch the film holders using base2 numbers. That is, the first notch on the right is 1, the next one 2, then 4, 8, and 16. This allows for up to 31 film holders, each with exposed triangles that represent the number.

    Rich
     
  19. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Rich's template solves the problem of wandering marks.

    If you can position them predictably. you can clearly distinguish the blank spaces (10001 =17 would look like 1 1, the 1's being the marks. With uniform spacing (good idea Rich) 10001 is hopefully unambiguously distinguishable from 01001 = 9. With sloppy mark spacing, they could be confused.

    Does anyone agree that notches probably weaken the filmholder lip less than small holes all the way thru?
     
  20. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Interesting.
    Strange enough I never read anything about that holder lip marking over here.